When Dr. Larry Dossey’s latest book One Mind landed on my desk recently, I was reminded that I first came to know him about 20 years ago when I spoke with him at a Mind-Body conference organized by Harvard Medical School and reviewed his book Healing Words:The Power of Prayer and The Practice of Medicine.
Dossey is a medical internist and former chief of staff of Medical City Dallas Hospital, who at that time did some less-than-gentle stirring by suggesting that compassion and empathy play a key role in a surprising number of doctors’ practices, and that many doctors would like to see those qualities receive a lot more institutional support.
Dossey also shared his insights in a gathering in The Mary Baker Eddy Library in Boston, during which he confirmed that, as he saw it, religious affiliation can be a key factor in healing. He said: “We know enough now about interviews with effective healers and pray-ers to be able to say that love and compassion are probably the most important factors accounting for the success of prayer, which we’ve been able to identify.”
At a conference in Bethesda, Maryland, on “The Science of Whole Person Healing,” Dossey defined spirituality as a “sense of connection with something that’s generally considered a higher power.” He said that one of the reasons to “respiritualize medicine” is that “medicine is in trouble, and is viewed by millions as too inhuman, remote, cold, detached, mechanical, expensive, uncaring, and unavailable or too late.” Continue reading